Ballpoint Universe Infinite is a shoot-em-up adventure game featuring artwork entirely drawn in ballpoint pen. Explore immaculate worlds, discover the secrets of the doodles, and customize your Ink-Ship for battle! Press "Ballpoint Universe Infinite is too exuberant to ignore.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (482 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 17, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"LordDF has an amazing collection of games, art and movies on NG! Ballpoint Universe is a beautiful expansion of web game College-Ruled Universe."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“...imaginative visuals and satisfying customization options are compelling driving forces.”
Gamespot

“I enjoyed my time in this flowing and visually layered creation so, whatever the might-have-beens, on one level that has to be enough.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Ballpoint Universe is a visually astonishing game with really intuitive controls and enjoyable gameplay.”
Noob Feed

About This Game

Ballpoint Universe Infinite is a shoot-em-up adventure game featuring artwork entirely drawn in ballpoint pen. Explore immaculate worlds, discover the secrets of the doodles, and customize your Ink-Ship for battle!

Press
"Ballpoint Universe Infinite is too exuberant to ignore." - Gamespot

"Holy Crap, This Entire Game Is Drawn In Ballpoint Pen" - Kotaku

"I’m not in any way, shape, form, or doodle of a mechanical steampunk owl creature writing this one off. It’s positively packed with promise..." - Rock Paper Shotgun

"There comes a point in every artist’s life where they see something so amazing, so unreal, that they question what the hell it is that they’re doing with their own life. Watching the trailer for Ballpoint Universe is one of those times for me." - Daily of the Day

Features

Explore incredible hand-drawn worlds


Customize your ship


Take missions and blast through waves of enemies


Test your skills in Infinite Mode

About the Developers

Arachnid Games is a fancy name for what is really just three dudes who love making games together. We're based in Berkeley, CA, and started in 2012.

Links

Arachnid Games Home
Artist's Tumblr
Arachnid Facebook

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.5mhz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512mb card or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 230 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Windows 8 Partially Supported At This Time (See Forum Post For Details)
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX Lion or later
    • Processor: 1.5mhz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512mb card or higher
    • Hard Drive: 230 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Ballpoint Universe is quirky at its finest. From the odd mix of 80% shootemup and 20% adventure platforming, the awkward controls that you need to get used to and the odd but cutely presented story and characters that come with it. My wife really liked the main character, but was questioning her nose. At the start it all is a bit confusing cause it’s not often you start a game like that, to be honest I think that was the 1st game of this kind I ever played to begin with and I really enjoyed the game as a whole. It's not too hard or easy, the weapon and ship upgrades are numerous and feel pretty unique (by design anyway). It's fun to see the uses for each item “even the crappy ones” and just start collecting everything while finishing the rather short storyline. Plenty of replay ability if you want to get each and every achievement, as long as you don't mind some repetitiveness. I think the story mode could have done with one or two more worlds though, but it's enough for its price (and budget, I presume). Just the pleasure of looking at all worlds which created the artist (developer) is worth it all.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
This game features an unique artstyle, as it's entirely drawn with a pen. The characters, the backgrounds, everything. In it you control a small creature who needs to fight to protect his homeworld from an "evil" force consisting of drawings that seek complete order in the universe: no random lines, weird creature, only perfectly designed and measured things.

Its gameplay has two distinct parts: platformer sections in which you explore around talking to different "people" and finding ink that you use to upgrade your ship, and shooter sections, in which you control a small ship against hordes of enemy ships. You can upgrade your ship in several ways: it can carry two different weapons, and you can give it different wings and such that give special abilities.

It's not that long, and the gameplay is simple, as it's controlled entirely with the mouse. Still, it's a good game, so I recommend it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
I'm only ten minutes into this game and I'm in love. This is just a beautiful game. Fun to play casually and some of the coolest hand-drawn style graphics I've ever seen. Very unique in its visionary, some of the mini games so far are just Classic 80s arcade games. Ex: the first one you come upon is like an improved Galaga (I that's possible..)

Can't wait to put more time into this game and edit. For now, highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're into Indie platformer/sidescroller games.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
Mooi
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
In general:
- game is terribly bugged in one place, after 13th level's creature which makes it impossible to complete (that is all 15 levels)
- gets boring really fast, as you get all the gun 'n' stuff you are invincable honestly
- graphics are original, seems like someone had lots of free time during classes, but that's a good thing
- lots of collecting: ship parts, some medals, sketches and thats all

I would give 4/10 because game is not even finished, not fresh, bt graphics are good (if it was finished, then I'd maybe give 5/10)

So, if you want to waste money on the game you can't even complete in 100%, well, good luck
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
This game uses Unity engine, therefore, expect bugs and incompatibilities.

Controller and achievements do not work on Linux. There is no support for keyboard, only "pure mouse". Try to imagine walking around with the mouse... yes, it even sounds like a bad idea, but for some mysterious reason these devs here decided it was good enough to force you to use this aberration kind of control.

Devs think that they don't need to reply to users, and that we have the obligation to read 3 or 4 pages of old threads to make sure the problem has been previously reported a.k.a. "be your own customer support".

Stay away of anything that uses Unity engine, it brings headaches to the devs and users. Also stay away from unresponsive developers.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
At first, I thought that this game was also programmed with a ballpoint. It's very awkward to control, there's too much acceleration going on everywhere, you have to change control modes constantly and the physics feel that everything is about to collapse at any second.

But I persevered, and after getting used to it's controls, I found myself liking it a lot. I love arcade shmups, and after figuring out how to buy weapons and equiping them, shooting sections very fun, although I found them too easy at first, I was having a blast in the later sections. There's no way you'll have enough ink to buy all weapons and try them without grinding, so I stuck to the ones I know I would liked and upgraded them to the max. Also, ♥♥♥♥ kamikazes, one touch and you lose a life, no matter how much you have.

Personally, I would've liked a score system, which also could have alleviated the frustration of losing a life trying to get a gold by gaining one after hitting certain number. It would be a nicer bonus for your skill than having a star that makes a short blast of bullets.

Also, the graphics are very unique and cool, but sometimes I feel this game is kind of egotistical, shoving them in your face. This is really a problem with a boss that shows up in front of the camera and blocks your view of the enemies, I dont mind it too much in the overworld, but it can be annoying. The opnly other graphical problem is in the last level, when all the objects being white becomes a problem, there were times that I didnt know where I was, what was attacking me and where it came from.

And lastly, I think that the game would be better if it had less focus on the overworld, specially platforming in there, and different music. My god, I had the game on mute 80% of the time, I was so sick of hearing the same thing over and over.

TL;DR: Like Skyrim on paper 420/666
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is a horizontally scrolling space shooter. However, it's not like most of the classics. While there are plenty of bullets to dodge, pinpoint movements to make, and crazy bosses to beat, this game adds in a few things that make the genre a bit easier to swallow for the less skilled players... like me.

This game helps ease the difficulty of the genre by giving you upgrades rather than powerups. Basically, when you destroy enemies, they drop ink. You collect the ink and use it as currency in the shops between rounds. In these shops, you can buy and equip parts to your ship, with a total of four parts. There are two weapon slots, one for the top and one for the bottom. There's also a wing slot, which is generally a passive ability, and also a nose slot, which is a special weapon that you have to build up power for. You build up that power by killing enemies in a row without getting hit. The weapon slots are interesting because there are three basic weapon types: guns, shields, and melee weapons. Guns are obviously projectiles. These are good for ranged combat but enemies with shields will block bullets. That's where melee weapons come in. Melee weapons break shields and generally do decent damage, but they are rather slow and require you to get close enough to the enemy to use them, which can get you killed on the quicker enemies. Shields are used for blocking and/or deflecting enemy fire. These are especially good in levels with lots of firing foes. Each type has their use and knowing which works best for you and for the situation will help you complete the missions. Also, buying new items and upgrades will grant you aillies. There is a gun ally, nose ally, and wing ally, each with their own passive benefits. Once you get them you keep them for good and can level them up a bit as well. All of this gives you an incentive to keep playing because even if a mission is really hard, you can always get more items and upgrades to help you, as well as customize yourself differently for new strategies.

There are also 2D platforming parts of the game. This is where you will travel the overworld. Basically, at the start of the game you can try out infinite space, an endless mode of fighting enemies until you die. This is a nice way to experiement and extend the gameplay, but you'll want to explore the overworld more for the actual missions. By talking to NPCs scattered throughout the overworld, you can be sent on missions. There's a vague story attached to these missions, but it generally boils down to fighting off swarms of enemies in different locations. Once you complete any mission, it is then selectable from your pause menu, so you don't have to explore the vast overworld every time you want to do them again. Also in this overworld are golden sketches that you can collect. They are often hidden, though sometimes are carried by NPCs. Also, some are unlocked by completing the missions without losing a life. Others... I'm not even sure how to get. Either I missed them or it's not clear what to do to get them so... I don't know what to tell you other than... sorry. However, I DO want to make it clear, this doesn't exactly make this a hybrid game. It's still a space shooter. These overworld segments are just for the purpose of story, finding missions, and collecting sketches. There are some parts where you'll need to talk to people, do some platforming, and can even die... but you respawn at one of the many checkpoints and ultimately there are only so many ways to go. It's fun and interesting, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it part of the gameplay. It's more like a big and stylized interactive menu.

I also want to mention the presentation here. All of the game is gone from drawings from a ballpoint pen... at least from what I've heard and gathered. This is something you can really appreciate if you ever used to doodle at all. It reminds me a lot of some of the stuff I'd draw on the sides of my papers in school when I was younger. This is where the overworld shines, actually. There are a lot of things out there. Different characters, environments, and backgrounds create visuals that are simple yet pleasingly detailed. The music in the game is actually pretty cool, giving a quirky yet energetic vibe. And the character monologues are weird and goofy in a way that doesn't feel like they're trying too hard. It all comes together in an interesting and unique experience. But, as you know, there are always downsides.

This game doesn't have many downsides, but it has a few. Let's start with the minor ones. There IS controller support... but for some reason the game only detects ONE specific slot for it... where my mouse was plugged in. Kind of annoying with the placement, but not a big deal. Also, getting all the gold medals on the missions is mostly doable with certain items and setups and you really feel like you can eventually get there... except for one. On one particular mission, the challenge does NOT come from enemies and your ship loadout. Instead, the challenge comes from dodging parts of the environment that will kill you on contact... and they move. Now, there aren't a lot of parts for that and it's nowhere near impossible, but it just doesn't fit with the rest of the game. It tests your skills in flying, not your planning for combat. One actual downside worth noting is that, while you are encouraged to customize your ship in order to counter specific challenges, you don't HAVE to strategically plan your builds. I got through most of the game using the two weakest guns, and I managed to beat the game with the setup of two gun. It's nice to have the freedom to play how you want, but it also takes away some of the value of having different setups. It's not so much about strategy and planning as it is about finding the setup you like the most. Also, having the missions spread out over the overworld, and the overworld segments in general, were a bit out of place. They felt like annoying padding at times. Not that I didn't enjoy the overworld and characters and exploration. I did. But forcing you to do 2D platforming to unlock horizontal space shooting levels of actual gameplay is not the most convenient choice.

Overall, Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is a lot of fun. It gives a lot of replayability with the different ship builds and upgrades. It has an interesting and appealing style. The real kicker is that it's only four bucks! It's hours of fun for just four bucks and it's worth it. If you like horizontal space shooters with progression and customizaion, check it out. Ballpoint Universe - Infinite gets a 7/10. (And yes, that's good.)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
It was fun at the beginning and get bored later on.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is an incredibly strange game. I highly reccomend picking it up though, if you can pick it up for a couple of dollars, if only to experience something almost indescribable.

From that I can tell this beautiful chaos is centered around a shoot-em-up game, and has assets made entirely from scanned ballpoint pen sketches... well, that's the look it's going for, anyway. The character designs are insane, in a good way, and the world is massive and confusing... in a good way. It has some dark undertones of a dystopian, post-war mentality, the soundtrack is great and wondering the pseudo-3D landscape is absorbing as heck.

I don't really have anything bad to say about Infinite, though I can't say I really "got" it. The game enthralled me for a couple of hours, but after I felt like I had explored everything unique about the game, it just because another upgrade-based shmup, average even for flash game standards. The world the game created was well worth the purchase though.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
108.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
I had no idea at all what this game was, but hey, a game for 1 ref why not! WOW, this game just blew my mind! The detail and hard work to make such a game purely out of the use of a ballpoint-pen (for the most part ^_^) is mind altering! I can spend an hour straight just trying to go through to each new round, upgrading and buying new guns and swords, or I can hop on for 10 minutes and just do a little ink farming! THIS IS A MUST NEED TYPE OF GAME!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
This is a truly beautiful game.If you haven't guessed by the title name already,this whole game is made of art from jsut ballpoint pens.I can't imagine how long and such tidious work it took to complete.It's a shoot'em up style of game play and can be challenging but not too much.I would definetly recommend this game if you're a sucker for game art style like I am.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
Fun and engaging shmup that can be played with just a mouse. The paper and ink art style is simple and pleasing. Music is not bad.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
Great new take on bullet hell. The gameplay and story are great with the ability to custimize your ships, weapons, and other stats depending on how you want to play. I found the adventure mode controls to be imprecise when trying to complete some of the jumping sequences, but with no penelty for falling to your death, it wasen't too annoying. Some really awesome moments happened in adventure like when you get to drive the cars and do flips.

Full Review
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
Ballpoint Universe is quirkiness at its finest. From the odd mix of 80% shootemup and 20% adventure platforming, the beermat doodles brought to live in a beermat doodle world, the awkward controls that you need to get used to and the odd but cutely presented story and characters that come with it.

I didn't like it first time around, but at a second glance I suddenly got into it and I really enjoyed the game as a whole. It's not too hard or easy, the weapon and ship upgrades are numerous and feel pretty unique (by design anyway). It's fun to see the uses for each item -even the crappy ones- and just start collecting everything while finishing the rather short storyline. Plenty of replayability if you want to get each and every achievement, as long as you don't mind some repetitiveness. I think the story mode could have done with one or two more worlds though, but it's enough for its price (and budget, I presume).

So yeah, it's worth the 4 euros that it's currently at, but you can also wait for a discount if you're in doubt. I like quirk.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
I've never been any good at Shoot 'Em Ups, but BU:I has been an excellent introduction. I'm hooked by the gameplay, but the excellent look and grooving music certainly help.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
Recommended, but with slight caution.

Ballpoint Universe is a side-scrolling shmup with adventure-y platforming between missions. The art style, obviously, is the most notable and unique aspect of the game. It's consistently good (and weird) throughout the game and, along with the music, adds a ton of atmosphere. The "ideas vs logicians" story fits in perfectly. There are a wide variety of upgrades to acquire for your ship, including some genuinely useful melee weapons.

Here's the biggest issue: the controls. Do not expect precise movement like most shooters. The platforming segments are better with the keyboard, or maybe controller, but the movement and physics feel wonky no matter what. It's doable, but prepare for some frustration.

The flying missions should be played with the mouse. It's highly unusual, but because the ship moves as fast as you can move the cursor, it seems as though the game was meant to be played like this. That advantage will be required on the harder missions.

Control schemes must be switched manually by going into the menu, unless there's a shortcut I missed.

Control issues are often a death sentence for this kind of game, but once I stopped resisting the mouse, and bought some better equipment, the good started to outweigh the bad. The developers appear to have been confident about going their own way here, and the result is a game that's fresh and worthwhile. Some mental effort on the player's part may be required to see that, however.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
Fun game with a really cool art style.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
This game is a gem. First of all , the artwork is spectacular, I love how it is hand drawn and the doodles are quirky and unique. The gameplay is simple, just a typical shoot em up mixed with a bit of some platformer action, making it fun for a casual play to wind down after a long day at work. The controls were a bit annoying, especially how sensitive the mouse was, which resulted in a bit of frustration, Although, I believe you can use a controller, but I haven't tried it yet. The music is lovely and cute and yes, this game does have an interesting plot as well. If you are looking for a game that can give you hours of casual game play, this is a great game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
A pretty good shooter interspersed by a pretty mediocre platformer. Art style's alright too, and the soundtrack is pretty damn good.
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